Government Schemes & Policies
- Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted to Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister
Defence & Security Issues
- CORAS (Commandos For Railway Security) for Indian Railways launched
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Government Schemes & Policies
Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted to Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister
A government panel has recommended several changes to the Competition Act, including introduction of a “green channel” for fast disclosure-based approvals for mergers and acquisitions.
- Recently, a report of the Competition Law Review Committee was submitted to Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMPETITION LAW REVIEW COMMITTEE
- Introduction of a ‘Green Channel’ for combination notifications to enable fast-paced regulatory approvals for vast majority of mergers and acquisitions that may have no major concerns regarding appreciable adverse effects on competition.
- Combinations arising out of the insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will also be eligible for “Green Channel” approvals.
- Introducing a dedicated bench in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) for hearing appeals under the Competition Act.
- Introduction of express provisions to identify ‘hub and spoke’ agreements as well as agreements that do not fit within typical horizontal or vertical anti-competitive structures to cover agreements related to business structures and models synonymous with new age markets.
- Additional enforcement mechanism of ‘Settlement & Commitments’ in the interests of speedier resolution of cases of anti-competitive conduct.
- Enabling provisions to prescribe necessary thresholds, inter alia, deal-value threshold for merger notifications.
- Competition Commission of India (CCI) to issue guidelines on imposition of penalty to ensure more transparency and faster decision making which will encourage compliance by businesses.
- Strengthening the governance structure of CCI with the introduction of a Governing Board to oversee advocacy and quasi-legislative functions, leaving adjudicatory functions to the Whole-time Members.
- Merging DG’s Office with CCI as an ‘Investigation Division’ as it aids CCI in discharging an inquisitorial rather than adversarial mandate. However, functional autonomy must be protected.
- Opening of CCI offices at regional level to carry out non-adjudicatory functions such as research, advocacy etc.
- The Government constituted a Competition Law Review Committee on 1st October, 2018 to review the existing Competition law framework and make recommendations to further strengthen the framework to inter alia meet new economy challenges.
- Under the Competition Act, combinations (mergers and acquisitions) beyond a certain threshold require clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
- The Committee was chaired by Injeti Srinivas (Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs).
WHAT IS THE COMPETITION ACT,2002?
- The Competition Act, 2002 aimed at regulating the manner in which businesses are conducted in India to create a level playing field with effective competition in the market.
- It was subsequently amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007.
- To prevent practices that are detrimental to competition.
- To promote and sustain competition in the markets.
- To safeguard the interests of the consumers.
- To ensure freedom of trade carried out by other participants.
The Act prohibits three main activities:
(a) Anti-competitive arrangements
(b) Abuse of dominant position
(c) Mergers and acquisitions that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India
ABOUT COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA (CCI)
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) was established to prohibit anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant positions by enterprises.
- Moreover, the establishment aims to regulate combinations such as mergers, amalgamations or acquisitions; courtesy of a process that includes inquiry and investigation.
- The commission is constituted of a Chairman and other members, whose total strength could be a minimum of two and a maximum of six. Such members are appointed by the Central Government.
ABOUT COMPETITION APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
- The amendment of the Competition Act in 2017 led to the creation of the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT).
- The entity was established to adjudicate appeals against the orders of the CCI and to determine the compensation claims arising out of the commission.
- However, the Tribunal isn’t existent now due to the changes brought forth into the Companies Act, 2013. Its powers are now vested with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which comprises of a chairperson and three judicial members.
Defence & Security Issues
CORAS (Commandos For Railway Security) for Indian Railways launched
Minister of Railways and Commerce &Industry launched CORAS (Commando for Railway Security) of Indian Railways and new establishment manual for Railway Protection Force.
- It is a separate Commando Unit of Railway Protection Force (RPF) and will be headed by the RPF Director General (DG).
- CORAS’ first deployment will be in naxal-hit Chattisgarh.
- They will also be deployed in areas where railway has major ongoing projects which need security like northeastern States and Jammu and Kashmir.
- To develop world level capabilities of specialized responder for any situation pertaining to damage, disturbance, disruption of train operations, attack/hostage/hijack, disaster situations in railway areas.
- Following the doctrine of graded response, minimum effective force shall be used for providing fool proof security to Indian Railways and its users.